Penske Reaches Deal With GM to Buy Saturn

Vue With Hummer sold off earlier this week, GM has now announced a tentative deal with Roger Penske for the businessman to buy its struggling Saturn brand.

According to Saturn, the deal would save more than 13,000 jobs and keep 350 Saturn dealerships from closing.

Under the deal, GM would continue to make Saturn products — like the Aura, Outlook and Vue — for Penske until 2011.

There’s been no word on whether GM will continue to build the Sky or Astra. The assembly plant for the Sky is due to close this summer, and Saturn didn’t release a 2009 Astra in the U.S.

After 2011, Penske reportedly plans to sell globally sourced vehicles; Automotive News is reporting that Penske will sell Renault Samsung vehicles built in South Korea at Saturn dealerships.

The tentative agreement saves Saturn and its customer-friendly dealers from an almost certain death. GM had previously announced that without a buyer it would close the brand down by the end of this year.

GM, Penske reach tentative deal for Saturn brand (Detroit Free Press) 
Penske plan: Sell Samsung vehicles at Saturn stores (Cnet)

By Colin Bird | June 5, 2009 | Comments (15)

Comments 

Original sheth

Only the Vue, Outlook and Aura will remain in production. The Sky is done.

Wol

Apparently the Saturn Astra is history also. Probably because it is sourced from Europe, where it has been a very sucessful as the Opel/Vauxhall Astra.

Seems strange in that the Astra is a relatively economical 32mpg and also fun-to-drive, sporty small car. Just the type of car that will be in increasing demand whan the recession ends and gas prices shoot up again.

It even looks much cooler than comparable models. One of the things GM had done right is now unavailable to the US buyer.

JM

the Astra never had a real share in the market:

1. the car is fun to drive, but the transmission is outdated and the engine is lacking power
2. the car is small, but the engine is inefficient for its displacement and horsepower
3. the car is very well finished and looks great, but is too expensive when common options are chosen.

cody

yeah, a 6-sp manual and cvt automatic would have gone a long way toward making the astra more fun to drive, efficient, and ultimately more competitive.

Happymantis

One more thing to ponder when considering the end of the Astra in the United States: I have never seen a darn ad for the Astra! General Motors hadn't properly advertised any of their new products, most regrettably, the G8, but the Astra sales would have undoubtedly benefited from increased exposure.

Stellar

Hey that is true. I've also never seen any advertisements about the Sky either. I think I've seen a few about the Astra but few and far between, thats to bad the Astra is a good looking car even though its a Vauxhall/Opel with a Saturn logo.

Dave Wuss

GM never made a profit on Saturn and I doubt Penske will either. Bad products are bad products regardless of how you slice-it.

SG

Saturn not turning a profit for GM is untrue. When Saturn was first launched in the early 1990's there was a big buzz around them, some dealerships were even unable to keep with demand of product.
Saturn was one of the smallest of the Marque's in GM's arsenal. I believe it had less that half the total amount of Dealerships compared to Chevorlet. if GM had not strayed the path of what the Original Saturn was supposed to be like, we may be praising Saturn at this point in time, not Toyota or Honda.
The first thing that proved Saturns faulter was in the late 90's when big SUVs were all the rage. Because of this Saturn was neglected and lost footing with its competition.

I do believe that Saturn would've prospered well if GM had not become money hungry, cheap, and SUV-hauled most of their lineup.

Carma

Sheth,
Who says the Sky is done? With Penske's background in racing, I doubt he'd accept the loss of the marque's sportiest car. Where did you get that information, or is it just your idle speculation?

Jay

Remember when Saturn was a "Different kind of car company?" They should have made them the future of the company but they looked at it as a side project (like a Scion). Also, those original SL1/2's were based off that racheted Cavalier platform. Complete garbage. Then, GM mishandled the marketing and expanding the brand as it focused on their core products "TRUCKS". When they finally accepted they made a mistake, then they give them the product they needed in the first place (Outlook, Aura, Vue). Too little, too late (as usual)...

Dave Wuss

I'll correct SG since he doesn't know the facts.

"In its 20-year history, the Saturn brand has never been profitable for GM."

http://www.leftlanenews.com/general-motors-saturn-pontiac-viability-plan.html

Hmmm, it just don't ad up

GM sucked the live out of Saturn a while ago.

They used to have unique product, what people wanted at a fair no haggle price.

What they did leave was the odd logic of the Aura pricing. To get power steering or air-conditioning you have to pay dearly. Just like the old SL1.

Tony

"...Penske will sell Renault Samsung vehicles built in South Korea at Saturn dealerships..."

They will sell it if we will buy it. I wouldn't.
Who will?
I don't think, Penske leaders understand the problem.

Colin B.

I think the Renault Samsung vehicles will sell better than GM's current offerings for the simple fact that they’ll be cheaper. Saturn has an excellent sales force, but the products GM gave Saturn to sell are too expensive for the marketed demographic. Samsung's new SM3 is an excellent vehicle, it will be cheap and reliable and that's what Saturn shoppers are looking for: simple A-to-B transport. Wouldn't be surprised if they sell 100,000 of just that model. http://tinyurl.com/ob5wrp

Tony

Colin B.,

I don't know how you predict this: "...Samsung's new SM3 is an excellent vehicle, it will be cheap and reliable...".
As far as Renault goes, they are some of the least reliable cars of the world. And Koreans so far also not the best in reliability department. Havving cheap and reliable sounds good bot not likely. Consider this. Consumer now reads on the internet before going to the store. I don't think, they will go for it like crazy simply because they wouldn't find anythig good about it online

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